My colleague Alex has been doing a bit of research into some of the names for birds that have been lost form regular usage. Some may have been in widespread use in the past, others were perhaps confined to a single county. Either way, there are some great names among them.
This research was sparked by a conversation with one of our volunteer guides, Mick, who referred to a dunlin as a "plover's page"
Alex's initial list of names was taken from the website http://wildlifearticles.co.uk/lost-bird-names/, and I'm sure that if you look on here you'll find a few more favourites of your own. I have added a few alternatives that I like in square brackets.
Alex's favourite lost country bird names:
Devil's scritch by Nigel Blake (rspb-images.com)
Bumbarrel by John Bridges (rspb-images.com)
Many of these names will have been in use for centuries, but even in the New World there are some great great colloquial names, such as "Timberdoodle" for an American woodcock.
And, of course, birds are not the only animals to have acquired a variety of names through folklore or local dialect, and I can't possibly write a blog about folk names without mentioning my wife's favourite: bishy barnabees (or bishy barney bees). Anyone from Norfolk or Suffolk is probably familiar with the term, but for those from the rest of the UK, like me, we know them as ladybirds.
A Bishy barnabee by Jodie Randall (rspb-images.com)
This was a fascinating read. I can think of quite a few people who'd qualify as nut-jobbers, though not in quite the same way as a nuthatch.
I wonder how a magpie came to be called a pianet? A small piano?